When a person buys an insurance policy, Arkansas law requires that the insurance company offer UM/UIM coverage and medical pay (or PIP). These coverages are only excluded if the insured specifically signs an agreement saying they do not wish to purchase them. Often when a person is injured severely, the person who causes the accident will not have enough insurance to cover the injuries and the injured person has to use their own insurance to pay for medical treatment. However, sometimes greedy insurance companies want to save a buck and do not want to pay valid claims. Often, a person’s own insurance company will treat them with the same disregard as that of the other driver’s insurance company. Refusal to pay a valid claim is not only unfair, it is often ground for a “bad faith” claim against your insurance company.
Our client was in a car accident several years ago where she sustained a severe knee injury, among other injuries. After years of treatment and a surgery, the medical bills were significant. The person who caused the accident had state minimum insurance coverage which only afforded $25,000 in coverage. Our client was forced to make a UIM claim to her own insurance company, only to be told that they did not believe that her knee injury was related to the auto accident. This denial was made despite the fact that our client’s doctor clearly, and unequivocally attributed the knee injury to the car accident. We recently filed suit and will be taking Hanover American Insurance Company to court for their unfair and unfounded denial of her injury claim.
Often, pursuing a claim with one’s own insurance company is as contentious and difficult as pursuing a claim against the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. Insurance companies want to save money and do not want to pay valid claims if they feel there is some way to get around it. Clients then come to us to get help in holding their insurance company accountable for what they owe.